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Next steps in the fight against terrorism

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Published on 24 March 2023

A conference is bringing together academics, experts, analysts and survivors of terrorism
A conference is bringing together academics, experts, analysts and survivors of terrorism

A conference is bringing together academics, experts, analysts and survivors of terrorism to examine the impact of terror attacks and how countries remain vigilant in fighting the threats.

Since the 9/11 attacks, many countries and their citizens have been significantly impacted by global terrorist movements and groups. Terrorism is no longer a rare occurrence, and international judiciaries and Governments have reacted by introducing strict laws to combat terrorism. 

The University of Sunderland’s Law School is hosting a one-day online conference (March 27): Prevent, Surveil and Protect: The Fight Against Terrorism, to explore the impact of terrorist attacks and responses to preventing surveilling and protecting nations from terrorist movements/groups. 

It will also examine distinct procedural and evidential issues in policing, the courtroom and policy for Governmental bodies, Parliament, the judiciary, victims and defendants around the globe.

The Keynote speaker is Associate Professor Jessie Blackbourn of Durham University, whose research focuses on counter-terrorism law and policy.

The day will also include survivor of the Westminster terror attack Travis Frain, who suffered serious injuries including a broken leg after he was mown down by a car driven by Khalid Masood on 22 March, 2017. 

Mr Frain, then 19, was on a university trip to London with his friends when he suffered shrapnel wounds and broken fingers after the attack but managed to pick himself up and hobble away before being taken to hospital. He now sits on the Terrorism Police Advisory Group and has set up the Resilience in Unity Project, a counter-radicalisation platform featuring the voices of terrorism survivors.

Professor Lawrence Bellamy, Academic Dean for the Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism at the University of Sunderland, said: “Counter-terrorism is a critical subject for the nations of the world and this event represents critical and cutting-edge perspectives on this rapidly evolving field. 

“This event has an exceptional programme of speakers providing their strategic legal and policy expert insight into a broad range of matters critical to inform counter-terrorism approaches. 

“Sunderland Law School is proud to be hosting Prevent, Surveil and Protect which sits at the heart of this multi-agency approach to dealing with these significant challenges. The legal frameworks and associated implications are essential to managing a complex and dynamic position.”

Guest speakers include UK and international academics, practitioners and civil servants from different disciplines. They are: Detective Superintendent Matt Davidson of  Counter Terrorism Policing North East, Prosecutor David Cawthor from the Crown Prosecution Service, Dr Rory Kelly from University College London, Dr David Lowe of Leeds Beckett University, Prof Colin Murray from Newcastle University, Dr Simon Hale-Ross, from the University of Law, Dr Jared Dmello from Sam Houston State University, USA , Dr Asya Metodieva, of the Institute of International Relations in Prague and Dr Lili Binit Wan Rosli, from the University of Bradford.